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Teen Drunk Driving

Teenagers. Alcohol. Automobile. Sound like a recipe for disaster? It is. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, automobile accidents are the number one cause of death in young adults age 15-20. Statistics also show that of these fatal automobile accidents, 28 percent involved alcohol consumption.

Prevalence Of Teenage Drinking

Just as shocking to think about, nearly 70% of teenagers have consumed alcohol at least one time. Beer, wine and other alcoholic beverages are often very easy to obtain. All they need to do is find an older sibling or other adult to purchase alcohol and voila--a recipe for disaster. Because they lack experience in both driving and drinking, teenagers can be a lethal weapon on public roadways.

Parents are often the best resource teenagers have to understand the seriousness of drinking and driving. Guardians who talk regularly with their teenagers about drinking and driving hold the key to combating this serious crime. But they are not the only ones who have taken action to prevent teenage drinking and driving.

All states have enacted Zero Tolerance Laws. These laws make it illegal for anyone under the legal drinking age of 21 to operate a motor vehicle with even a small amount of alcohol in their blood. For instance, the legal limit for adults is a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08%. For drivers under the age of 21, this percentage plummets to as low as .01%.

Parental Guidance Is The Best Prevention

To keep teenagers from drinking and driving, parents are encouraged to warn their children about the serious penalties for underage drinking and driving. Although most teenagers think they are indestructible, they can and often do die if they drink and drive. And if they are lucky enough to survive an alcohol-related automobile accident, they will face serious consequences in court.

Teenagers are treated as adults and will face the same penalties if they are convicted of underage DUI. This may include the loss of their driver’s license, expensive fines, alcohol abuse treatment, probation, community service and even jail time.

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